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This is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — to achieve improved human health and well-being. Our approach identifies the inhabitants who are most vulnerable due to a lack of material wealth, water and food insecurity, and gender-related issues. We recognize that the health and well-being of local inhabitants is key to the conservation and sustainability of the Galapagos, like many other ecologically sensitive places.

Our projects include topics in:

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health & Policy
  • Gender Studies
  • Tourism
  • Food Security & Nutrition
  • Pollution

Today the Galapagos Islands, a milestone of sustainability, are faced with the challenges of consumptive demands of a growing tourism sector, an increasing residential population attracted to the Galapagos for jobs in the tourism industry, environmental management institutions and policies of government and non-government organizations, and ecosystems that are highly vulnerable to human activities and decision making. Research at the GSC focused on these linked human-environment interactions takes shape along the following lines of inquiry: Human migration and tourism, public health and disease ecology, agriculture and fisheries, access to care, land use/ land cover dynamics, invasive species eradication, social and ecological vulnerability and resilience, conservation and economic development, environmental health, and nutrition.

Water quality on San Cristobal Island

Antibiotic resistance in the environment

Research Projects

The Dual Burden of Disease in the Galapagos, Ecuador: An Interdisciplinary Study of Food and Water on Isabela Island

People:  Donald L Fejfar, Elijah Watson, Kishan PatelNick BadhwaKhristopher NicholasAmanda Thompson, Margaret Bentley, and Jill Stewart
Departments: Nutrition, Anthropology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences

Feasibility of Educational Support Measures for Parenting Skills and Mental Health Symptoms in Mothers of Young Children in the Galapagos

People: Julee Waldrop, Betty Martinez, Alasia Ledford, Amanda Thompson, and Hannah Jahnke
Departments: Nursing, Anthropology

Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies: The intergenerational effects of maternal stress in the Galapagos Islands

People: Hannah JahnkeAmanda Thompson, Margaret Bentley, and Enrique Terán
Departments: Anthropology, Nutrition


Water Quality Assessments on San Cristobal Island, Ecuador

People: Jill Stewart and Valeria Ochoa-Herrera
Departments: Environmental Sciences & Engineering



Agriculture, Wildlife, and Land Use in the Galapagos

People: Francisco LasoSteve Walsh, and Javier Arce-Nazario
Departments: Geography


Water, Food, and Health in San Cristóbal: The Healthy Family Study

People:  Amanda ThompsonEnrique Terán, Margaret Bentley, Jill Stewart, Jaime Ocampo, Graham Pluck, and Khristopher Nicholas
Departments: Anthropology, Nutrition, Environmental Sciences & Engineering


Food Environments in the Galapagos: Geographic and Behavioral Determinants of Diet and Health

People: Khristopher Nicholas, Margaret Bentley, and Amanda Thompson
Departments: Nutrition, Anthropology